tv Meet the Press NBC December 6, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PST
this sunday morning, the terror attacks in san bernardino. did the killers get help? why did no one see this coming? and can we prevent these kinds of attacks from happening here in the united states? we'll get the latest on the investigation from the very t. attorn attorney general loretta lynch joins us. plus, the role of islam, are we dealing with a perversion of the religion or a strain of it? also, the error attacks and the campaign. do these help donald trump pull away from the pack. >> every time there's a tragedy my numbers go way up. joining me are rich lowry of the "national review," amy walter of the cook political
report. elisabeth bumiller of the "new york times," and charles ogletr ogletree. welcome to "meet the press." good sunday morning, president obama will address a nervous company tonight from the oval office on the terror threat and what the administration plans to do to keep us safe. the terror attacks in san bernardino were the worst in the united states since 9/11 and they have both unnerved a country already jittery about terrorism and it's transformed the presidential race. there's so many unanswered questions. where syed farook and after tnd wife radicalized? how could no one know about their weapons? was this an isolated incident or a harbinger of future terror attacks? we'll get to those question with the head of the justice
department, loretta lynch. we begin with pete williams who has been covering from the start and the director of the national counterterrorism center under both presidents bush and obama. what caused the fbi to label this a terrorism incident. >> there's a huge supply of weapons and bombs they have built. they built their bombs using instructions that are available from jihadist web sites including al qaeda's online magazine inspire. they modified their assault rifles trying to make them into automatic weapons using instructions available on these online jihadist sites. there's her facebook posts pledging support for isis. there's sort of trade craft things. they attempted to destroy their electronic media, smash their cell phones knowing the fbi would come back and look at that. then he had contact with people at that the fbi has been watching. >> let me follow up that.
he had contact with the fbi which leads to a question the attorney general has to answer which is -- how much was he on the fbi's radar screen? >> not contact with the fbi but contact with people that the fbi was watching from time to time. people that came up on the counterterrorism radar. they don't know the nature of the contact. they have in essence phone records, social media records. they say he didn't have a lot of contacts with them and one of the things the fbi looks at in analyzing these things is what's the frequency of the contact? are they reaching out to the same networks over and over again they'll say did we miss something but at the time no red flags were raised. >> worst terrorist attack on u.s. soil since 9/11 and no group is taking responsibility. how scare i have that? >> it's scary because it fits the isis play book perfectly. isis may try to direct but what
it's trying to do is inspire so these are inspired attacks, small, isolated groups where they are, where they live that understand the culture and understand in part how to terrorize those communities. >> so what would you need resource wise? if you had every -- is there enough resources you can have, the fbi could have, that could stop syed farook and his wife from doing this? >> this is a multifaceted plan and you don't have enough resources. off huge american population, a small, small, small subset that is radicalized and an even smaller subset that takes action and you can't cover everyone who has some contact with someone bad. you need is offense oversea, defense at home with intelligence and law enforcement and really deep engagement with these communities. >> even if they had the resources there are legal limits here. the fbi can't listen to everybody it wants to. there has to be a predicate that allows them legally to start monitoring. >> we just changed the bulk data collection of the nsa. how much would that -- is that, do you think, impacting this
investigation? >> i don't think bulk data collection was an enormous factor because generally that deals with overseas calls to the united states. but what bulk data collection did was make the process more efficient so there were no silver bullets there but when you do have really tapped out resources to cover so many investigations it can help you move through and discard some faster. so in that regard it may have played not a major role but some supportive role. >> michael leiter, pete williams, thank you both. in what may be a preview of what the president will say tonight, president obama did address the investigation and terrorism in his weekly address this, of course, aired yesterday. >> it's entirely possible that these two attackers were radicalized to commit this act of terror and it would underscore a threat we've been focused on for years, the danger of people succumbing to violent extremist ideologies. we know isil and other terrorist groups are encouraging people around the world and in our country to commit terrible acts of violence. often times as lone wolf actors.
>> for the latest on the investigation, i'm joined by the attorney general, loretta lynch. madam attorney general, welcome to "meet the press." >> good morning. >> we are four days since the attack. what can you tell us about the state of the investigation and what we know now? >> this investigation is ongoing, it's wide ranging, very complex. certainly as you know, we're four days away from the horrific attacks. immediately the fbi began working with our state and local counterparts with whom we have an excellent relationship. this is an fbi investigation now because of the indications that we do have of radicalization. this is a terrorism investigation at this point in time but we continue to work closely with our state and local counterparts, also atf, marshalls are on the ground. we're focusing on the victims of this horrific attack. four days, over 300 interviews. several locations searched. a lot of information being processed, being analyzed and being gathered. and more to come. so what i would say to people is that this investigation as it has already been stated is a marathon, not a sprint, but it
is one of great concern to the american people and so we're committed to keeping people informed. >> can you say definitively they were both radicalized. >> i can't say definitively right now what led either of these two people to pick up guns and become murderers. i can say that is the focus of our investigation. we're looking at everything we can find out about these two killers' lives, how they grew up, where they grew up, how they met. all of those things will provide us guidance. >> just from what we can read in media reports, syed farook was one type of person before he met his wife and somebody else after. is your focus on the investigation primarily through her when it comes to the radicalization issue? >> our focus on the investigation is wide ranging and we can't limit it to one point in time. we are trying to learn everything we can about both of these individuals. >> what have you learned about her time in saudi arabia? >> i'm not able to go into a lot of specific there is because we are working closely with our foreign counterparts to gather that information. it will be a long process, it
will be an exhaustive process and we are trying to learn as much as we can about her life before they met, after they met, and, frankly, after she came here as well. what we are trying to focus on again is what motivated these two individuals. what led them not just to commit the act but to pick this particular place. >> what -- do you have any evidence that says that they were planning another attack and that this just happened to be what they decided to do? >> obviously we have concerns wherever we see people who have large stockpiles of weapons or appear to be in the process of accumulating weapons and ammunition. at this point, we do not have any evidence that they were part of either a larger group or cell or that they were planning anything else. that's at this time. what i will say is, again, we are continuing to run everything to ground we can about these two individuals. >> how cooperative has pakistan been in this investigation so far? >> i can't really characterize any country except to say that we work well with a number of our foreign counterparts. >> is pakistan one of those countries?
>> pakistan is one of those countries. >> that you work well with? >> i will say we often work with our local law enforcement counterparts not just here but overseas, through the intel sequence community, through our military connections, through our law enforcement connections and we're talking to a number of countries. >> have you learned more about her time in social media? there was a report in the "l.a. times" that perhaps she got radicalized, was interested in al nusra front and had started becoming more -- more fundamentalist in her believes, her own family said there was 2009 version of her and after that she became different. >> i think what you see with these comments from friends and family and the information coming out from social media is a small part of what we're doing, what the fbi is doing in gathering everything that we can find about her to build that larger picture. everything that you've mentioned is part of that picture. at this point, it's just too early to say. so what i would say is i would caution people not to try and define either of these two
individuals right now because we don't want to foreclose either any avenues of investigation or any other issues or motivations. >> there have been reports that he had some contact with people that the fbi had under surveillance. what is the threshold to become under surveillance by the fbi? clearly syed farook didn't meet that threshold. should she? >> well, i don't want to use the blanket term that individuals are under surveillance with whom he had contact with. he did have a number of contacts with individuals that had come on the fbi's radar screen for a variety of reasons. so depending upon those reasons, those individuals may have been under review for a number of things and he was someone who had contact with them. we are running all of that to ground. we are also looking into what those connections were, if any, conversations if any. all of that is part of what we're looking at. >> is that making you rethink this idea that the threshold should be lowered? >> i think every case is
different. every situation is different. people come on the fbi's radar screen for a variety of reasons and a variety of time. we run everything to ground, similar to what we've been telling people here. if you see something, say something. report your concerns to law enforcement. they will be looked at. they will be reviewed. sometimes they're nothing. sometimes they're something. sometime there is's a connection that years later may show up. all of this information is useful. right now i would caution people not to try and define these two individuals right now. we are learning all we can about them. >> both you and director comey have said see something say something. is there a line where you worry people will be overly suspicious? >> it as hard to characterize that. i think in this particular day in age people are understandably concerned. this horrific attack has people on edge and frightened. we lost so many victims and people were wounded. people are concerned and we understand that. our view is that if you have concerns that rise to a suspicion that someone that you either know or see on a regular basis is evidencing a change in
behavior or discussion, threatening talk, threatening language. this is similar to workplace disputes as well in terms of what people can see. alert law enforcement rather than taking matters into your own hands. >> why do you think the mother, his mother who was, of course, who they left their six-month-old with, apparently didn't know they had a cache of weapons, didn't know they had a pipe bomb factory in their garage. >> i can't speak that fact of the investigation. obviously it's something we're looking at very, very closely and we appreciate everyone who's come forward with information about that. so i can't characterize the knowledge of any of the other witnesses in the case. what i will say is that this indicates the evolving nature of the threat that we are seeing. we have come from a time of the large-scale planned al qaeda-style attacks to the encouragement of lone wolves. ft. hood, chattanooga, to encourage people to act on their own. >> we've been hearing this for
sick years, that the threat has changed and it looks like we have no new ways to stop this threat. i mean, do we have to just accept the idea that this is the way we have to live now? accept the idea that a lone wolf inspired by an isis web site could just mow people down? >> i don't think we should ever accept the idea that someone can come along and take away our safety and freedom. we have to do everything we can to prevent that. and that is really a multifaceted approach. we've evolved a lot since 9/11 also in terms of law enforcement capabilities, intelligence capabilities, military, counterterrorism. we have been watching this threat evolve for some time. we are now at a point where because we, in fact, have been successful at stopping a number of plots the threat has evolved. we do see these lone wolf actors. we see these encouragements for troubled individuals to pick up a gun and act out of this ideology. again, not sure which one they picked in this case despite the media accounts but we do see
this. we have to evolve as well and we are. we are reviewing everything about this case but also past cases to see what are the common threads. and when we look back at the terrorism investigation since 9/11 -- and there have been numerous ones -- one of the things that does come to the fore, czechuck, is that in a nur of cases when we look back at these individuals, somebody noticed a change. >> we're hearing that from family members. everybody is saying that. how do you get people to talk about that before it happens? >> what we tell people is alert law enforcement. we are on alert 24/7 and everything that you report will be investigated. we do it in private. we do it covertly. this could be a problem, it could simply be your neighbor having a bad day, but better be safe than sorry. >> let me ask you about the nsa program that just ended, the bulk collection. is that a resource you wish you had today? >> we understand the concerns that people have with not only protecting our values but our
privacy interests as well. we think the usa freedom act was a good resolution of that. >> you still do? >> we're committed to working forward -- >> you don't want new reforms? more access? >> obviously if congress wants to talk about anything we're happy to provide information. we're committed to moving forward under the current act. that act does primarily deal with overseas individuals and contacts there but every tool is important, chuck, is what i would say. it's part of a piece here. >> when you and director comey after paris said there was no credible threat, do those words mean anything anymore considering the world we live in? >> i think we review the information we have. we try and tell people what we know at the time. in terms of the indices and what's on the radar screen, we do want people to know if, in fact, we learn of an incident focused on a particular city. if we learn of long-term planning focused on a particular industry or infrastructure. so we feel we have an obligation to let people know if we have
information of a credible threat or not. these two individuals, self-radicalized, radicalized by others, that's what we want to learn so we can figure out how to prevent this again. >> what will we learn from the president tonight? what calls to action will he have for the country or congress? >> the president understands the country is very concerned about this issue and i think what you'll hear from him is a discussion about what government is doing to ensure our highest priority, the protection of the american people. i think he'll talk about the actions we've taken not just since 9/11 but since paris to help keep the american people and american interests safe. you may hear him call on congress to review measures and take action as well. but i think what you'll hear on the president say is to call on the american people to not give into fear. >> is this a time for a gun control conversation? >> we here in the middle of that conversation. we always have. when we have the incidents that we have seen, we're talking about this terrible san
bernardino shooting now. a week ago we were talking about planned parenthood in colorado and there are dozens and dozens of families -- >> a gun problem or a violence problem in this country? >> i think we have a number of issues here and deali ining wit guns is one way to handle the issue. >> loretta lynch, thank you for coming in this morning. the terror attacks have reshaped the campaign and may have given another boost to donald trump. when we come back, two republican presidential candidates with two very different views on how to fight terror at home. as we go to break, it's important to get to know the 14 people who died in the san bernardino attack. here they are. [ male announcer ] some come here
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find out who they've been talking to before it was too late. you were on the forefront of trying to change this law. any second thoughts? >> you know, senator rubio were doing his job and in congress more, he might know the program continues. the paris tragedy, this tragedy happened while we were still doing bulk collection. all bulk collection. also in frances, they have a program a thousandfold more invasive collecting all of the data of all the french. yet they still weren't able to see this coming. so my question is, how much liberty do we want to give up for a false sense of security? the government has investigated our program of collecting through a generalized fashion everyone's phone records in the country, and they've found that no terrorist case has been thwarted through this. >> what would you do if you were president tonight? president is going to address the nation. what would you say to the nation to make them feel safer? this idea of a lone wolf doesn't make me feel any safer? >> i think what we've had in the
past is the government says, we need to collect the whole haystack, every american's privacy. what i'd like to do is make the haystack smaller i. think we have to be careful who comes here from the middle east. i've introduced legislation to say right now let's stop it. >> how is that not personal profiling? >> people who want to come to this country don't have constitutional rights. once they get here they go. coming here is not a constitutional right. we as of a nation have the ability and should decide who can come here. we don't know who is here right now. the woman that was ended up being married to this terrorist, i don't think she was properly vetted. i think she came here and i don't think we adequately knew enough about her. and i think there's also some indication the papers she filed to come here were a lie to begin with. i don't think we're doing april adequate vetting process of those coming to our country. >> dow you think the visa
program, any terrorists that have come here and committed acts from 9/11 to this woman, have come here on some form of visa. how in jeopardy is this program? >> here's the probable. we have 11 million said to be illegal in the country. many have oversay stayed their visa. there's students from the middle east. if 40% have overstayed their visa, do we need to know who they are? let's make the haystack smaller. let's say for a while until we can figure ho out who's coming and who's coming and who's overstayed their visa, let's have extra scrutiny. there's a whole segment of the world nept on sending people to destroy us. >> these folks accumulated quite the arsenal. is there anything you would support the amount of arsenal somebody could have in their
garage. >> interestingly, they accumulated this arsenal in california, ten heavy d-day wai period, everything obama has wanted california had and it didn't stop this. i think ultimately the rules you make for gun control people who are intent on killing themselves aren't too concerned about the rules. law-abiding citizens are. the other thing to realize is almost all the shootings including this one, happened in a government building where people are not allowed to defend themselves. while it's not the ultimate answer. the ultimate answer would be no violence. part of the answer is staying we need to allow people to defend theflselves. >> you'd like to get rid of the no carry rules. >> yes. >> i'll leave it there. let me go to senator lindsey graham. let me start here with you. what do you want to hear from the president tonight? >> that he's going to change his strategy and come up with a regional army to go in and destroy the caliphate in raqqah,
syria. that he is going to abandon what's not working. he's overwhelmed by radical islam in general he doesn't have a strategy to destroy isil. i just came back from iraq, my 36th trip. here what i can tell you. the paris attack was highly sophisticated, well planned, very clever, took months in the making, very much like 9/11, and there is a 9/11-style attack coming to america. and i can tell you who's planning it. the leaders of isil and they're in raqqah, syria. so for god's sake, mr. president, change your strategy, come up with a grond force to go in and destroy the caliphate before we get hit here at home. that would be my advice. >> senator, it seems you can militarily take care of an al qaeda, an isis. we haven't defeated the ideology. the ideology is as strong as ever. >> right. >> given what just happened in san bernardino. what is your plan to defeat the ideology, sir? >> well, you start with the leaders -- you take down the
caliphate. i'm convinced that the caliphate the size of indiana, if it were destroyed, it would be harder for people -- >> we took down al qaeda, and this just rose up a new version of this, a new strain rose up. >> i can tell you this. of, that al qaeda has been placed on the run but not destroyed. isil is not the jv team. i cannot stress enough that there is a terrorist army in syria and iraq that wants to attack the homeland and we're not doing anything with about it. how do you defeat the ideology? build up others? you reject rand paul. this flirtation with isolati isolationalism is over. i'm advocating building up others, build a small schoolhouse in afghanistan to help a young girl destroying the ideology more than a bomb, i am in -- i'm an internationalist. i want to help others not just kill terrorists. but i can tell you there's a sense of urgency that the
president does not possess that there is a 9/11 in the making. i've just come back from iraq. it is a matter of time until we get hit by isil, not some lone wolf attack, but hardened terrorists are coming here to hit us hard if we don't hit them first. >> are there more resources you want to give the fbi? >> yes. >> and do you think if somebody like -- essentially the way law enforcement has described this, this farud maybe had liked a facebook page, the equivalent of that, when it came to people they were monitoring. should that have been enough for us to trigger surveillance into him and if that's the case, how much more resources do we need? >> number one, i would set aside budget cut that's are going to devastate the fbi, cia and nsa. sequestration cuts are not only gutting the military. they're gutting the fbi. so if i were president, i would set the cuts aside. i would reinstate the nsa program as robust as possible within the constitutional
limits. but more than anything else, if you get nothing else out of this interview, the source of the problem is in syria. raqqah is the headquarters of isil, which is a lethal terrorist organization now army. if you don't go after them over there, they're going to hit us over there, and there's no substitute for that in my view. >> is there any new regulation on the purchase of firearms by anybody on the no fly list or anything else that you would support? >> gun control is not part of a tragedy to defeat radical islam or take isil down. however, it is a problem back here at home. a million people have been adjudicated a danger of themselves to others at the state court level. i would pay to have those adjudications enrolled into the federal background system so we can detect people who are mentally ill before they buy a gun. >> but on the no fly list? >> i don't -- you've got 40% false positives. let's make it better. if you're on a no fly list, it
has less false positives. count me in from that being in the background system. but this is not the issue with california. did she get radicalized before she came here? is this a terrorist arranged marriage? is this a breakthrough to penetrate the homeland? did they marry up a radicalized woman to someone in the country penetrating our system? that's what i want to know about california. >> that's the scariest part this potential story. >> yes, it is. >> lindsey graham, thank you, sir. >> thank you. coming up, one of the most divisive questions sfais facing after san bernardino, are we dealing with a legitimate strain of islam? anchs "meet the press" is anchs "meet the press" is brought to you by morgan sta i! i'll be programming at ge. oh i got a job too, at zazzies. (friends gasp) the app where you put fruit hats on animals?
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when we come back, we'll have a debate. does the terror threat we're facing grow out of a perversion of islam or does it represent an extreme but durable strain of the religion? then he said it himself. every time something terrible happens his numbers go up. why donald trump continues to surge, and why that makes many republicans very nervous. >> how many events were trump is going down, this should be the end, a week later the polls come end, a week later the polls come out, ♪
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i'm turning seven. what did you ask for? a princess. and a pony. you like things that begin with p. i like pink frosting too. will you have a cake? yeah. i was too sick to have one last year. the data your doctor shared shows you are healthy. are you a doctor? no. i help doctors identify cancer treatments. i want to be a doctor someday. i can help with that too. watson, i like you. welcome back. two currents of thought have emerged as a result of the san bernardino attacks. one is that we'll witness a wave of anti-muslim sentiment in the united states. the other involves the role of islam itself in the attacks. is the islamic extremism espoused by isis a warped distortion of islam or does it trap into a that i mean of islamic thought? i'm joined by the director of institute for islamic policy and
understanding and the author of "standing alone, one woman's struggle for the soul of islam." let me start with this question for both of you, dahlia, is isis preaching a strain of islam? >> i would say that isis wants us to think so and i would think that's the real danger here is that what isis wants the narrative to be is that they are the true muslims. that they are standing with true islam and everyone else, people like me, are the apostates and if we give into their narrative, we're doing their propaganda for them and i think we should really take that to heart and think long and hard about it. when dylann roof walked into a black church, he wanted to start a race war. we didn't let him do that because we didn't cast him as a representative of the white race. we didn't give into his narrative. we did the exact opposite and i think that we have to be careful not to give into the apocalyptic narrative of isis that wants to start a war between muslims and
everybody else. >> everybody seems to agree with that. i know you've argued muslims need to take back their religion from isis. how? >> we absolutely do. we are doing it. on friday i stood with a group of brave and courageous muslims and we stood and we provided by a declaration to the world of reform. we are calling ourselves the muslim reform movement and we are to opposing a very real interpretation of islam that espouses violence, social injustice, and political islam. and what we did is we walked through the gates of the islamic center of washington here in d.c. that's very much run by the government of saudi arabia and we posted our precepts on the door of that mosque because the problem is not simply in syria. the problem is sitting in the birthplace of islam in mecca, saudi arabia, where this interpretation of islam has gone out into the world over the last four decades, creating militancy
groups from indonesia to now san bernardino, california, this vicious attack. we have to take back the faith and we have to take it back with a principle of peace, social justice, and human rights, women's rights and secularized governance. >> dalia, when americans find out, we're learning more about the woman here, we find out her own family is saying, yeah, she became really religious and she changed. americans are going to see this as the more religious a muslim is the more likely they'll end up somehow fighting for isis 'cause. >> i can understand that. i think those are real fears. i think we have to keep a few things in mind, though, this particular couple we're learning more and more about them. first of all, they actually stopped going to the mosque about two years ago. another thing that many people aren't talking about is that they targeted the only muslim in the room and shot that woman four times. that was someone that used to go to their mosque. it's very hard to understand what inspired these people.
but what we know broadly from research is that religiosity does not correlate with sympathy for terrorism. it's quite the opposite. the more religious someone is, the more often they go to the mosque, the more likely they are to reject attacks on civilians. >> i want to expand the conversation. we have amy walter, rich lowry, charles ogletree, elizabeth bird flu mi-- bird flu miller from t "new york times." >> it seems that this debate is irrelevant for outsiders, it's for muslims to decide whether it's a religion of peace or not and if enough of them do you cut off the oxygen to the radicals but at the moment the extremists have significant financial popular and theological backing in the middle east and that is an enduring phenomenon and one that will require a long ideological war to win. >> i'm sorry, i'm going to have to disagree with you. they simply do not have
ideological, theological or popular support. this is a criminal organization that is funding their criminality with things like drug trade and selling oil. they do not have the ideological support that you're describing at all. in fact, it's quite the opposite. they've had a number of voices from across the spectrum say that what they're doing is completely unislamic. they have no support popularly in terms of the general public. >> but yet -- >> they're still there but so are many other terrorist organizations and their primary victims are muslims. that's very important. >> and to that point i think what speaks the loudest and what speaks to your point is the blood that's spilling. from australia to now california. how much blood has to be spilled until we recognize inside of the muslim community that we do have an ideological problem and that we do have support.
>> i think the blood is spilling in syria and it's mostly muslims. >> there are hundreds and hundreds of followers of islamic state around europe and the u.s. the studies are showing this. and you will you have to do is look at the conversation inside of our mosques and inside of our communities and you will hear it. and i hear it. and i have to say that i saw it in 2002, when to islamabad, pakistan, and met women who were supporting this ideology. i call them the taliban ladies auxiliary back then. this young woman in california would have been a star member of it. >> go ahead, elizabeth. >> i had -- after the paris attacks in this country we all patted ourselves on the back and said "well, we have a much more assimilated muslim population here than they do in europe." but does this attack put that -- i mean, does that give you pause now are we wrong about that? >> when we talk about a wall,
right, to try to keep out these -- this threat, the problem is that these are ideas and they are filtering throughout the world and it is naive and i think ultimately the reason why we as muslims stood on friday and went to the mosque and took these risks on our own lives is because we've had enough. like the world has had enough. >> that's an important thing. that requires brave troy do what she's talking about. >> but i'm hearing here that this muslim movement with women is what we have to focus on and women having doing, i think, the right thing having the conversations, talking to people about that. and i hate this idea that we as americans are going to say we're going to have a sense at the border, some place else, to figure out whether muslims can come to the united states. muslims have a right -- like every other people to come to the united states and we have to be concerned about the gun killings, people who are
americans, who are irish, who are english, who are all around the country. and so we don't want to -- >> just as we don't want to bury our needs the sand about serious issues, a meme is now circulating called the ostrich brigade and it's used to describe the people who are burying their needs the sand. i call it the 3d strategy, denial, deflection, and demonization of those of us who want to speak honestly about these issues of extremism and dalia, we have to do it. this is a book called "women in the shade of islam." it's published by saudi arabia. i picked it up in pakistan where our young wife in california would have picked up an item like this and it puts out this wahabi ideology that is ultimately the toxic poison that is crossing all these borders. >> dalia, i want you to have the last word. >> i think it's important to
understand that isis' biggest enemy are ordinary muslims. that's why they are fleeing. that's why they're the primary victims of isis. muslims are the ones who want to do the most to defeat this ideology. it's important that we don't do their propaganda for them by giving them the legitimacy that they crave. >> i want to say one last word which is this is the declaration and we'll share it with the world. this is the islam we want to see in the world. >> we'll let people that want to see more, we'll put the link on our web site. all right, thank you, asra, dalia. when we come back, the
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as donald trump continues to dominate the 2016 field with, the republican establishment's low-grade anxiety is becoming an all out panic. in a cnn poll out this week but conducted before the san bernardino shootings trump led the field with 36% -- 20 points ahead of his nearest rival tuesday. ben carson has slipped to 14%. in case you're keeping track, jeb bush is down to 3%. establishment republicans are beginning to say on the record what they have been whispering about in private for months, that donald trump at the top of the ticket could mean a electoral wipeout down the ballot and republicans are taking the possibility of trump as nominee seriously enough that the committee that oversees next year's senate races laid out a confidential seven-page blueprint for candidates on how to run with trump at the top of the ticket. for instance, advising candidates to "grab on to the best elements of his anti-washington populist agenda" but warning trump is a
"misguided missile subject to farcical fits" and candidates should avoid getting drawn into "every donald trump dustup but should condemn comments about whacky things about women." trump responded to the memo on thursday. >> i don't say anything whacky about women. i have more respect for women than anybody would understand and i'm going to get people jobs and protect people and that's why every time there's a tragedy everything goes up, my numbers go way up. >> the panelists here, rich walter, amy, elisabeth bumiller. amy, we haven't heard from you. i think freakout is setting in among republican establishment people? >> i think concern is setting in and there is a lot made about that memo. i will say this. the one thing about it that they get to the hard of which all establishment needs to understand is that very early on in this campaign what have we heard from republican voters? they want somebody that's new, they want somebody that's fresh, they don't want establishment. that is what if you want to beat
donald trump then you need to be the candidate that is not the establishment in your thinking, in the way you're presenting yourself but you present yourself as the most -- let's say the temperamentally prepared to be president. so the change agent, temperamentally prepared. that is what they're looking for. and i thought "wall street journal" quote they got a guy in iowa to say where this race is for a lot of republicans right now. he said "nobody in iowa wants trump for president but everybody in iowa wants somebody like trump for president." that's what you need. >> rich? >> it's clear he's not going to disappear that a cloud of pixie dust as many people thought and i don't think there's a clever way for the establishment to take him down. it's very simple. another candidate is going to have to find a way either to outmaneuver him or to just frankly beat him in the argument. and if no one can do that, yeah, you better man the lifeboats because there's a significant chance he'll win the nomination. >> does that mean cruz or christie, that those are the two best foils because they have the
bluster but restraint that goes with the bluster? >> we don't know yet. but so far the three candidates who have dealt with trump most adeptly are cruz, christie and rubio but they've avoided him in one form or another and i think one of the most interesting subplots now, cruz is creeping up on trump in iowa there's internal data that talks about having him ahead in iowa. does trump blast cruz and how does cruz react if he does? >> the irony in this, elisabeth, is if that same -- i think your wonderful publication, the "new york times," the initial freakout of the establishment, i think it was somebody from the '90s who said "oh, yeah, but the establishment takes out trump, they're doing ted cruz's dirty work for him." and some people think cruz is just as bad of a electoral nightmare down the ballot as trump. >> cruz is not popular in the senate. republicans say he may be too disliked to be the nominee and that's a real concern about
that. and i think the one way to go after trump maybe is go after him as a closet democrat. that he supported democrats in the past. i mean, i'm not saying -- [ laughter ] it's an idea. >> that's not worked. >> it's the democrats' problem. >> but he's -- he gave money to hillary clinton, he's got this new york style. you know, i offer it up. >> i think fitness for office and temperament. >> that's the only thing. >> he has a zero chance of being successful. >> well, you say so. >> he's going lose. no question about that. >> when? >> he's going to lose now because people were attracted to him because he was not elected to an office, he was not a politician. and like you said before, he was a person that people say, wow, he has ideas. but the more and more you listen to donald trump, the more you have the sense that she not the person that's going to run the country. i have strong views. if the republicans want to put him up, fine.
>> rich, what would william f. buckley be saying about trump today? >> i'll always be caution about what bill had to say because he had such a idiosyncratic mind. i think he would be appalled at the crude populism but would like some things about him that would surprise all of us. can i say, chuck, i think the guy who gets the least chatter given how high his chances are of winning the nomination is ted cruz. >> i agree. >> i might prefer to be him than anyone else at the moment. he's a favorite to win iowa, and if he wins out of iowa -- >> he'll be the delegate leader by the end of march if he wins iowa. but guess what? we still have less than two months to go. we'll take a quick pause. in 45 seconds we have the end game segment and the new renewed old debate over guns in america.
- covering your kid's eyes is one way to prevent them from seeing something inappropriate. another way is to use parental controls on your tv, computers, and mobile devices to control viewing habits when you're not around. it's in your hands. the more you know. time now for "meet the press" "end game." "end game" time and the debate over gun control was reignited after the san bernardino attack. the "new york times" ran its first front-page editorial in 95 years calling for greater gun regulation and publications from around the country also weighed in as you can see here. now, on the other side of this
debate, republican presidential contenders didn't hold back when it came to the issue of guns. >> if you look at paris, they didn't have guns and they were slaughtered. if you look at what happened in california, they didn't have gun, they were slaughtered. they could have protected themselves if they had guns. >> they're still out there talking about gun control measures as if somehow terrorists care about what our gun laws are. >> folks in the media ask at the behest of democrats isn't it insensitive for us to do a second amendment rally following this terror attack? let me tell you something, i really don't view our job as being sensitive to islamic terrorists. [ cheers and applause ] >> well, elisabeth, it was your publication. i know you didn't write the editorial but not -- apparently this issue rose to the level of warren harding's presidency. >> yes, that was decision of the publisher, not the news department. >> no doubt.
>> i'm of the news department. but, yes. and people have been asking how effective is it, it's not for me to say. i just want to point out that warren harding, the "times" assailed his nomination for president, and we can see how effective that was. [ laughter ] >> that's a question i've heard from some democrats quietly saying, you know what, push for gun control but not now. guess what? you're going to get lost and lose the argument, that the "times" editorial made it a lot harder. >> we may lose the argument, but i think we have to talk about gun control. one of my best friends in mississippi, dennis sweet, he has guns, he's taught his son and daughter how to use guns, they're locked in a case. and that's what gun control is about. there's no way you're going to get rid of the second amendment, no way you're going to get rid of the first amendment, and people have to understand how important this is. but i think that when they see more and more killings, we have to figure out what we're going to do about it, and i don't think the criminal justice
system now has an answer. >> amy, i want to read you a quote. but i've had my own anecdotals with my own friends. here's a gentleman quoted in the "times." "i believe my government is supposed to protect me but it has let me down. i resent having to defend myself. i should not have to, but at this point i don't feel like i have a choice." i have my own anecdotes of a friend who never would have bought a gun, about that ate and bought a gun, and is thinking about it. >> absolutely. this deep insecurity has been going on for a while. i picked it up in 2014 sitting in focus groups of women feeling terrified not just about that isis was come, terrified that their children couldn't be safe at school, terrified about what was happening in ferguson and other places. the real issue on the debate about this is the messenger more than the message. this has to come from -- if we want to have a real movement on this issue for those who support gun control, it has to be coming from the republican side. as soon as a democrat or liberal organization opens their mouth and says we want to see this it's going to go over the heads and the same way on the abortion debate.
if they want to make a change it can't come from a republican, it has to come from a democrat. >> rich, it is sort of -- look, it's clear anytime there's been one of these shootings more people want to guy guns. are we having the wrong debate? should it be about weapons of war versus guns? you divide the debate differently? >> i don't get this debate at all because we have it after every mass shooting and now a terror attack, and the proposals that are talked about almost always have nothing to do with the specific event. this couple in california, they didn't get their guns at a gun show, they weren't on the terrorism watch list, they passed a background check. so you can do all of that and it would have made no difference. and the idea now that we're going to fight terrorism through gun control i think is just utterly fatuous. >> but they did have assault weapons. >> legal. >> yes, but there is a proposal to get rid of assault weapons and that -- a lot of democrats ask and a lot of people ask why is it necessary for people in
this country who are not in law enforcement to have assault weapons? >> the ar-15 is the most popular rifle in the country and as rand paul pointed out california has rules against assault weapons, it's just those rules are inherently so technical and have to do with cosmetic features you can easily get around them with any semiautomatic rifle. >> well, this is not a debate we'll end here, but the show has to end. i want to thank you all. it was obviously a very busy show. that's all we have for today. i wish we could go another 30 but my bosses won't allow it. we'll be back next week because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
"press: here" is sponsored in part by barracuda network. security and store solutions to simplify i.t. city national bank to help california businesses grow. tech companies have gotten so good at parting you from your money, you'll barely notice when they take more. plus, will ad block break the internet? our reporters sarah lacy this week on "press: here." good morning, everyone. i'm scott mcgrew. when my son was young, young enough to